Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei said today Iran will not negotiate with the US as long as there are sanctions and threats against Tehran.
“The respected president (Ahmadinejad) and senior officials have said that we are ready for negotiation. That’s right but not with an America that seeks negotiations overshadowed by threats, sanctions and bullying,” Ayatollah Khamenei said in a speech to an audience of senior Iranian officials including Ahmadinejad and broadcast on state TV [IRIB & Press TV, 18 August].
“They should drop the face of a superpower, they should drop threats, they should drop sanctions and they should not set a goal for negotiation. Then we are ready," he added.
In late July, President Ahmadinejad said nuclear talks with the six powers, including the US, would start in early September, but Khamenei's comments raise questions about those discussions.
Khamenei also warned the US against launching an attack against Iran and said if Washington chooses to resort to military means against Iran, the confrontation will not be restricted to the region alone.
"It's unlikely that they (US) will make such a stupidity (to attack Iran) but all must know that if this threat is carried out, the field of the Iranian nation's confrontation will not be only our region," Khamenei said. "The area of confrontation will be much wider."
Meanwhile, today Iran filed a formal complaint at the UN against the US for recent comments made by the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Mike Mullen. The complaint said the admiral had “threatened” Iran with military action under the “false pretense” that Iran is developing nuclear weapons.
Here is a summary of the speech in Persian.
Mark, there are some minor differences between this Persian text and the early reporting by news agencies, also in Persian. For example, here the supreme leader is quoted as saying "as senior officials have said" (about negotiations). Earlier the reports quoted him as saying "as the respected president and the senior officials have said." Might not be important, but interesting!
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